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Not One of the Boys: Living Life as a Feminist

Review

Not One of the Boys: Living Life as a Feminist

Brenda Feigen was
a pioneer of the women's movement in 1970s America. She went to
Harvard Law School when there were still blatantly sexist events
like Ladies' Day going on; she rallied for women as the National VP
of the National Organization of Women; she cofounded Ms. magazine
and the National Women's Political Caucus; she worked with Ruth
Bader Ginsberg on the ACLU's Women's Rights Project in 1972; and,
later, in Hollywood, she tried to produce films with brave and
solid women characters. Brenda Feigen has lived one hell of a
public life, not to mention her personal struggles, like breast
cancer, coming out as a lesbian and being a feminist mom. NOT ONE
OF THE BOYS tells this story in her own words and what a story it
is.

 

Like a Dickens novel, our heroine travels the world, somehow
alighting at just the right places, in order to be involved in some
of the premier events of the 1970s and on --- getting involved with
all the right folks in all the right places at all the right times.
She speaks clearly and concisely, in a historian's voice, about the
ins and outs of the movement, its successes and failures. Clearly,
she has seen her share of both, but does not discuss them with
bitterness or an overarching sense of failure. Instead, she saves
the harsher tones for her own disillusionment, her medical
problems, her relationship problems. NOT ONE OF THE BOYS is
remarkably candid and refreshing without being
annoying.



It may be the
historical periods covered that make this book compelling, but I
think it's Feigen's sense of right and wrong and how far she has
always gone to support it that makes it so. Even in this day when
"feminist" is considered, on occasion, a dirty word, Feigen's
exploits and endeavors make inspiring and fascinating
reading.

Reviewed by Jana Siciliano on January 22, 2011

Not One of the Boys: Living Life as a Feminist
by Brenda Feigen

  • Publication Date: September 12, 2000
  • Genres: Autobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction
  • Hardcover: 335 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • ISBN-10: 0679408428
  • ISBN-13: 9780679408420